The Loss of Grumpy Cat Draws Attention to an Important Cat Health Issue

Grumpy Cat. Her name says it all. She was a beloved online sensation with a downturned mouth that made everyone smile.

Her adorable furry face was full of personality. Though she likely never knew how much the world loved to look at her miserable mug, Grumpy Cat memes and online viral videos put this famous feline's net worth at $100 million.

Sadly, on May 14, 2019, Grumpy Cat – whose real name was Tardar Sauce – died of complications of a urinary tract infection (UTI). At only 7 years old, Grumpy Cat was taken from us and, more importantly, her owner far too early.

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RIP Grumpy Cat. @realgrumpycat

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Urinary tract infections in cats can cause serious health problems. Since cats are good at hiding signs of urinary tract disease, it’s important to know how to prevent and treat cat UTIs.

Here’s what you need to know to protect your fur baby from the agony of UTIs.

Who’s most likely to get a UTI?

Urinary tract infections can affect cats at any age. However, if a young cat is showing signs of a UTI, there may be a more serious problem like kidney disease or feline idiopathic cystitis.

Older cats and females are more likely to get UTIs. However, UTIs in male cats are far more dangerous simply because of male anatomy.

Male cats have a narrower urethra than female cats. When a UTI occurs, the bacteria can cause a change in your cat’s urine pH. High pH can lead to the formation of crystals to form in the urine. If those crystals become lodged in the narrow urethra of a male cat, it can cause a blockage.

A blocked urethra is deadly and should be treated immediately by a veterinarian.

Signs & Symptoms

To prevent UTIs and complications, it’s crucial that pet parents know what to look for when a urinary tract infection first strikes.

When cats suffer from urinary tract disease, they often show signs of difficulty urinating. For example, your cat may feel pain when trying to urinate in her litter box, so she may start to associate the litter box with pain and try to urinate outside of the litter box.

Other signs of painful or difficult urination include:

  • Visiting the litter box more often than usual
  • Spending a longer than usual amount of time in the litter box
  • Visiting the litter box but not leaving any deposits
  • Blood in the urine
  • Attempting to urinate in other parts of the house
  • Drinking more water than usual
  • Not eating as much as usual

Detecting & Preventing UTIs

The best way to know if your cat is at risk is by using PrettyLitter. Because bacteria can change the pH of your cat’s urine long before your cat starts showing outward symptoms, PrettyLitter can give you a heads up.

If your cat is using PrettyLitter, the granules will turn blue to indicate that your cat may have a urinary tract infection or other health problem.

Taking steps to prevent urinary tract infections in your cat is crucial. Start by always keeping the litter box clean so bacteria doesn’t have a chance to spread. Your cat’s diet is also a contributing factor. Diabetic and overweight cats are at greater risk of urinary tract disease.

Some cats can experience urinary tract disease as a response to stress. Playing with your cat, letting her get plenty of exercise, providing perches and hiding places, and offering at least one food and water bowl per cat are easy ways to reduce stress.

If your cat is going to be facing some changes in the household - like the addition of a new pet or a baby - make the transition as easy as possible.

Treatment

If you suspect your cat may have a UTI – such as if your PrettyLitter appears blue, green, or red – take her to the vet immediately. Treating cat urinary tract infections can be a simple process if the problem is caught early.

Your vet will likely recommend dietary changes that will prevent UTIs and the formation of crystals in the bladder. If your cat is suffering from a blockage, she will most likely require hospitalization to drain the bladder and safely remove the blockage.

Some cats are more susceptible to urinary tract infections than others. A cat that has had one UTI is more likely to have another in the future. Monitor your cat’s urinary tract health with PrettyLitter so you’re always three steps ahead of the problem.

Have questions about feline UTIs or other cat health problems? Let us know in the comments below and we'll do our best to help.




Rai Cornell
Rai Cornell

Author



9 Responses

Iris Darling
Iris Darling

June 25, 2019

Has anyone had good luck with the freeze dried raw cat food? if so what company My cat keeps going green for a day or two and then flips back to yellow - I am trying to get him mostly off kibbles and on raw food but our vet seems to think the kibbles are good for him.

Judy B
Judy B

June 04, 2019

Miska was only six years old when he got a bad blockage. We had to take him to the Emergency Vet on Christmas Eve. I was pretty sure I knew it was at least a UTI as he kept running to the litter box, but couldn’t go. Poor baby was in a lot of pain. The ER vet saved him, but he was there for a few days. Now he can only eat prescriptive food and treats, and he’s a very picky cat! We tried every brand, and he finally would eat a salmon flavored wet food, and the only urinary treats made for cats…that we know of anyway. He has to be watched closely, tested (if we can catch him to take him in), and weighed often to make sure he isn’t losing weight. We also started using PRETTY LITTER, as that gives us the confidence that his bladder is doing fine! Thank you, PRETTY LITTER!

Lynda Martinez
Lynda Martinez

June 04, 2019

I’ve been using pretty litter ever since I heard about it. It’s so amazing & I tell everyone about it. So sorry grumpy cat passed away. Like losing your child. Prayers to the family

Stacey Dunn
Stacey Dunn

May 31, 2019

I want to thank Pretty Litter For saving our cat Blaze. Blaze is a rescue cat and has battled UTI. The 1st time it happened he was at the vet for 4 day’s it broke our heart’s, then I found Pretty Litter and it has saved Blaze a few times the litter was greenish blue we called our vet got him on antibiotics and he is back on track he is on a special diet but as the vet explained that does not always stop UTI. Pretty Litter is a little pricey but our pets are worth every penny. Pretty Litter has been a life saver for Blaze.
Thank You
Stacey Dunn

URSULA LENZ
URSULA LENZ

May 31, 2019

Have been a multiple cat family since 1956. Have 5 indoor cats now. Yes, UTIs are not fun to live with. Poor Kitty! Thank you for the info. Will try PrettyLtter. Sincerely, UD LENZ

Lisa Lodermeier
Lisa Lodermeier

May 31, 2019

My cat had a uti I did not notice any symptoms at all and would never have thought anything of it. He is only one. His llitter was showing that he had high ph balance. I brought him to the vet. He needed medication . I’m happy to have the pretty liitter. He seems to like the litter too.

Debra McBride
Debra McBride

May 31, 2019

Six weeks after I started using Pretty Litter, it started to turn blue. Very blue. I took my cat to the vet right away. She had a severe UTI and, sadly, is in the beginning of renal failure. Because of Pretty Litter, I learned quickly of her disease and have been able to change her diet and keep a closer eye on the progression of her illness.

Thank you, Pretty Litter, for allowing me to care for my baby better.

Katherine
Katherine

May 31, 2019

Actually, urinary tract infections are quite rare in young and middle-aged cats. People confuse idiopathic sterile cystitis, also called Pandora syndrome, with UTI because the signs overlap. But they are distinctintly different things. Cats with concentrated urine rarely get bacterial urinary infections. Both Pandora syndrome and bladder stones are more common in young and middle aged cats. Less than 5% of cats with concentrated urine will have bacterial UTI. If they have straining to urinate, have pain on urination or bloody urine, it is probably NOT bacterial urinary tract infection unless it’s a cat with dilute urine. And dilute urine is uncommon outside of older cats with another disease causing it, such as chronic kidney disease.

When a cat has lower urinary signs (straining, pain, blood in the urine) usually not having a UTI is an extremely important distinction because sometimes cats are inappropriately given harmful antibiotics for a condition that does not even involve infection.
Pandora syndrome is primarily treated with multimodal environmental modification therapy. Diet, and sometimes medications such as for pain or straining, can be used as an adjunct part of the treatment and may decrease obstruction risk in male cats.
Conflating different diseases such as bacterial cystitis, bladder stone disease, and Pandora syndrome as if they are one thing under the incorrect term “UTI” is misleading. Unlike dogs and people where bacterial cystitis (a type of UTI) is fairly common, it is only a minor cause of lower urinary tract disease in cats. Lower urinary diseases are indeed common in cats, but not actual UTI.

marg bryant
marg bryant

June 04, 2019

Is there a recommended food for cats that makes bladder infections less likely?

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